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The Forensic Alliance moves into VITP!

ForensicAllianceVITP welcomes our newest tenant The Forensic Alliance to their small office space in the Collabor8 Suites!

What is The Forensic Alliance?  The Forensic Alliance is a BC based company that performs research, provides expert courtroom testimony and delivers professional forensic interview and risk assessment training to investigators in a wide range of disciplines. Their public sector clients include public safety, the judiciary and law enforcement as well as child protection and mental health agencies while their corporate clients occupy various industries including private healthcare, insurance, loss prevention and finance.

For more details visit their website and get their contact details here! Welcome to VITP!

 

Fish and Forest at the Glendale Lands

HokeThe Goward Springs Watershed Stewards (GSWS) is a group that was formed several years ago to facilitate restoration work in this part of the Colquitz watershed, which is salmonid bearing river system that has been undergoing a number of restoration efforts over the past few decades.  They are currently working with VITP and the Horticulture Center of the Pacific to rehabilitate a reach of Goward Springs Creek that flows on both properties. In a recent assessment of the watershed, this reach of creek was listed as the highest priority work area of the fifty-seven reaches studied.

The group has members with expertise in several areas of habitat restoration work, good contacts with volunteer groups working in other sections of the Colquitz watershed and access to a reliable and well trained group of volunteers.  VITP is involved with this project because it is on our land, but the strength of our support is because we have always included enhancement of the natural habitat on our and surrounding Glendale Lands as part of the process of developing and maintaining the Vancouver Island Technology Park. In addition to our efforts to support the project financially we have instructed our Grounds Superintendent and Office Manager to aid the GSWS in their efforts. This aid includes developing a site for storage of tools that will be used by conservation volunteers working on VITP land and use of our website and social media sites for distributing conservation information and recruiting volunteers from amongst the 1,200 people working on this site.

A hiking and information tour will be taking place at VITP on Saturday, January 25th at 9:30 am. If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining in on this project, please feel free to take part in the tour to learn more details. Who is leading the tour? The Goward Springs Watershed Stewards, in conjunction with Peninsula Streams Society and members from the Saanich First Nations.

Would be a great way to get involved in the local community and nature by helping restore this area and bring salmon back to the creek!

 

Tech News: Four Tech Trends Your Business Needs to Pay Attention to in 2014

The latest article detailing tips and trends businesses should follow for a strong 2014!

Posted on TechVibes.com
Written by Ryan Lazanis
View original article here

Four Tech Trends Your Business Needs to Pay Attention to in 2014

Poof! There went 2013. And it brought along some exciting technological changes to your business as well. But this is just the start.

Entrepreneurs interested in tech are always looking for new and exciting ways to streamline business processes to make their business as tight knit, as rock solid and as automated as humanly possible. I know personally that I am always on the hunt for apps that can tweak my business processes to help them run just a tad bit smoother.

From an accounting perspective, 2013 has been an introduction for many Canadian business owners into the forays of cloud accounting and how this software could help automate certain business processes. If you think that was good though, 2013 was just the tip of the iceberg.

Looking to 2014, the integration of tech into your business is going to be more important than ever. Many of these tech trends have been quite popular with business in the tech space. Lately however, I have been noticing more and more traditional businesses are looking to get involved with some of these 2014 trends as well, and when this happens, these trends become the mainstream.

Without further ado, here is the list of what will propel your business forward in 2014.

1. Further integration of the cloud into daily business

The cloud is an exceptionally powerful force and it is bringing along some important changes to businesses who choose to integrate it into their daily business processes.

We are living in an ever increasingly mobile world. We no longer just have one computer. We have several computers, a mobile phone and maybe even a tablet. We want access to our data whenever, wherever. Which is why the cloud is so important, especially for business owners.

Cheaper storage, modular quantities and easier integration with your business processes. These are just a few of the benefits of moving your business into the cloud.

As mobile becomes more and more ingrained in our daily lives, so will the cloud. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s prediction for 2014 is “mobile, mobile and more mobile.”

There is just no escaping the cloud in 2014 and moving as much of your business to the cloud as possible will certainly be the trend, if not mainstream, in the very near future.

2. 100% paperless offices

I had a Xerox salesman walk into the office a few months back. He looked at the sign and read it. “Xen Accounting.” He inquired, “Are you an accounting firm?” I nodded my head. He looked around the office and saw no photocopy machines. “How are you an accounting firm with no photocopy machines?” he asked. I simply smiled and said that the firm is 100% paperless. He laughed and walked right out of the office without any sales pitch at all.

When an accounting firm can go paperless, just about any business in the world can go paperless. There is no need to have mountains of paper everywhere in this day and age. It gets messy, it takes up space and more importantly, it takes up time.

There are apps and software that can help eliminate the paper you have on hand. Whether it’s your shoebox full of receipts, the bills you get in the mail, your contracts and any other paper you have on hand. Whatever it is, it can be stored on your computer and in the cloud.

Once again, using different apps to go paperless will help streamline business processes. For instance, in my line of work, typically an accounting firm would print out an engagement letter, have the client come in (or deliver it), have the client sign it and then file it away. This is a lengthy process. Now you can use legally binding e-signature software, such as Right Signature, to have documents signed virtually with your mouse. You send off an email with the contract, the client signs it from their own computer and then you can store the electronic document however you like. This is just one example of how you can go paperless in a certain area of your business.

Going paperless is liberating—you should try it!

3. Cloud accounting software to be at the core

Accounting is typically a nightmare for many small business owners. It’s something that is usually procrastinated to the very last minute because they would rather do something else with their time and rightly so. Entrepreneurs should spend more time developing their business and less time on their accounting, which is why I wrote a Techvibes article in late November comparing the different cloud accounting systems that help ease the burden of accounting for Canadians.

Going forward though, I see the accounting system as really the core app where all other cloud software systems for your business will integrate with it to help streamline things as much as possible. By doing so, you basically get an accounting system running on autopilot. We are not fully there yet, but we are fast approaching.

Which is why I recommend Xero as a cloud accounting solution for a lot of clients. There are hundreds of apps that integrate with Xero. Quoting? There’s an app for that. Payroll? There’s an app for that. Want a CRM that syncs clients and suppliers? There’s an app for that. Inventory management that connects to your WordPress e-commerce website and then feeds into your accounting systems? Yes, there are apps for that. There are apps for just about every business process you have.

The point is, the more software that you can integrate with each other, the more streamlined your business processes become, and if this all integrates with your cloud accounting system, then you can effectively avoid a lot of the headaches and procrastination that has typically come with manually entering data into your accounting software.

Your accounting is about to get a whole lot easier in 2014.

4. Software-as-a-service

SaaS has already blown up in 2013, but look for an even bigger impact in 2014. Why? Because it naturally fits with many of the trends listed above.

Customization to a particular customer’s needs is becoming more and more important as the years move forward and SaaS delivers in this area. The idea is that you pay a monthly subscription fee for software that is more tailored to your needs. Essentially, you only pay for what you use. If there are specific features in a software that you don’t need, you don’t pay for it.

What’s more is that SaaS products are 100% internet based, which means that you have access to your software wherever you are in the world as long as an internet connection is present.

More customized and more affordable. The one-size-fits-all approach is finished.

Don’t fall behind

Following the trends above can certainly help your business stay ahead of the curve, in fact, it might even give you a competitive advantage over your competition. But don’t expect this to last too long, as businesses of all shapes and sizes are quickly moving in the direction of the trends listed above.

Make 2014 the year to integrate some cool technology into your business and help automate some of the more mundane tasks as much as possible.

 

Tech News: Develop Yourself Professionally Through Volunteering

More tips and tricks for success!

Posted on Techvibes.com
View the original article here.
Written by Suzanne Huber

Develop Yourself Professionally Through Volunteering

Volunteering allows you to give back and be of service to others. And when you get involved with a cause you care about, it helps to give your life meaning. Besides the obvious benefit of helping a non-profit by donating your time and giving back, it also allows you to do a lot of personal development, acquire new skills, and grow relationships with newfound mentors or even find clients through referrals from your growing network of contributors.

Usually nonprofits or groups that rely on volunteers have limited resources to help achieve lofty goals or even operate. To be successful, you need to have an empowered group with a lot of autonomy to complete tasks with limited resources. Creativity and innovation are as important in non-profits as they are in startups. These groups are open to change and new ideas which leaves lots of room for contribution and growth. If you are a “doer” and want to make an impact for a cause of organization with a lot of autonomy, perhaps you should get involved with a nonprofit in a leadership role.

Nonprofits rely on the enthusiasm and energy invested into the cause by the volunteers. I was on a board that wanted younger members specifically for that reason. I figured it would be good practice to sit on one for my future. Being on the board and volunteering my time helped me gain credibility in the community, develop myself as a leader and hone new skills that would not have happened as early (chairing board meetings, lead committees for local chamber business awards etc).

Though it was never my intention, volunteering has always opened doors for me to develop skills and forge relationships that would serve me in the future. Whether it is the inspiring leader that works a million hours for the cause and doesn’t mind or the hidden mentor that you can bounce your goals and challenges off of, there are many innate benefits to volunteering that spring up as you go that help develop you as a professional or grow your business.

People respect others that volunteer and growing your network through being involved in nonprofits is a great way to find yourself getting referrals or opportunities that may not spring up otherwise unsuspectingly. When people know who you are in the community they will remember you as a contributor to the community and you may find yourself getting invited to lots of events and having good substance to add into your professional biography.

Chiral Laboratories moves into the Innov8 Hub!

ChiralLabsThe Innov8 Hub at VITP has seen the addition of three new companies this month, and Chiral Laboratories is the latest! We are very excited for Brent to be moving into his new 500 square foot office where he will reside until we can get his custom lab space built.

What exactly does Chiral Labs do? Chiral Laboratories is an analytical testing laboratory focused on the qualitative and quantitative analysis of Natural Health Products (NHP’s), nutraceuticals, additives and herbal products. The scope of testing includes active compound identification/quantification and chemical residue screening. Chiral Laboratories is active in the research and development of new testing methods and innovative improvements on existing benchmark methods to aid in project specific or routine testing analysis. Research assistance to clients can be provided by the isolation, identification, efficacy and quality procedures of projects dealing with NHP’s and herbal products.

We look forward to lots of interesting things to come from this company – welcome to VITP!
For contact details click here. 

Tech News: The 2013 Canadian Startup Awards are Open for Nominations

As seen on Techvibes.com
Posted by Rob Lewis
View the original article here

The 2013 Canadian Startup Awards are Open for Nominations

Two years ago Techvibes lauched the Canadian Startup Awards. The annual awards have been a tremendous success: last year alone garnered more than 10,000 finalist votes and 7,000 social media shares in just two short weeks. Previous winners include Wattpad (Startup of 2011) and Ryan Holmes (Entrepreneur of 2012).

The awards, a celebration of startups and technology in Canada, are back and we’re ready for your nominations. It’s up to you to nominate (and then vote for) the most deserving startups, founders, and investors across six categories.

This year we have improved upon our categories, dropping one, combining others, and adding two new ones: the Accelerator Graduate of the Year and the Employer of the Year. Here are this year’s official award categories:

  • Accelerator Graduate of the Year – Recognizing a startup graduate of a Canadian accelerator or incubator for its outstanding accomplishments in 2013.
  • Startup of the Year – Recognizing a Canadian startup for its outstanding accomplishments in 2013.
  • Employer of the Year – Recognizing the best Canadian technology employer in 2013.
  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of an exemplary Canadian entrepreneur in 2013.
  • Angel Investor of the Year – Recognizing the Canadian angel investor who made the most significant impact in 2013.
  • Venture Capital Firm of the Year – Recognizing the Canadian venture capitalist who made the most significant impact in 2013.

Until the end of this year we will be accepting nominations via Twitter, email, comments, or this form. If you would like to make a nomination on Twitter be sure to include the hashtag #StartupAwards and our handle, @Techvibes. Here’s a sample tweet:

“@techvibes I nominate @OMERSVentures for VC of the Year #StartupAwards”

Email nominations can be sent confidentially to startupawards@techvibes.com.

On December 31, 2013 we’ll close nominations and on Friday, January 3 we’ll announce the finalists for each category and open voting to the public. Then we’ll close voting on Sunday, January 19 and finally, we’ll annonuce the winners on Monday, January 20.

View the original article here!

Leap Web Solutions makes headlines for creating Thrifty Food’s mobile application!

LeapPhotoLeap Web Solutions has lots to be thankful for in the past few months, including the addition of two new full time employees, taking over additional office space and working on a huge new project.

Neil Tran, owner of Leap Web Solutions has had an extremely successful year and with the growing demand for his creative skills, has now hired on two full time employees, Simon Robinson and Devin Edwards. With his new team came the need for more office space, and Leap Web Solutions now occupies two offices on VITP’s main floor near the Security Desk.

A huge opportunity came knocking on Neil’s door when he partnered with old tenants of VITP, Dactyl Studios and together they created a new mobile application for Thrifty Foods. This was the first time Leap Web Solutions took on a mobile app and it goes to show that Neil and his team can really take on anything and make it a huge success. Check out their website for more details and contact information!

Congratulations to Neil and his team at Leap Web Solutions, we are so excited to see what your future holds! Here is the article as posted in today’s issue of the Times Colonist.

On the Street: Thrifty Foods unveils mobile app

Neil Tran of Leap Web Solutions and Curtis Duggan of Dactyl Studios have created a new mobile application for Thrifty Foods customers. “We were able to include many great features and we’re very pleased with the end user experience,” said Tran. “We wanted to use large type, because we spend a lot of time on our phones and we know what a difference that makes.”

Thrifty Foods started interviewing local design and programming companies in June and had a clear vision of what they wanted to see – simple, no-nonsense features that would be easy for customers to navigate and would also allow for special offers and alerts that could be shared with app users in all markets. They also wanted an app that would work well on all iPhones and Androids – a tool for customers to get quick updates on special offers that would make the shopping experience easy.

App users can spot seasonal offerings on the company’s reserve and pickup service and early previews of favourite products that have just arrived in store. The new app includes the Thrifty Foods weekly flyer, special deals, grocery-list memory bank, recipes and the ability to tap and store ingredients to lists, a store locator and storage of Club Thrifty Foods card number. The Thrifty Foods app is available for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

View the original article here

 

Innov8 Hub Welcomes Another New Tenant – MindCoral Inc.!

MindCoral

 

 

We are thrilled to announce another new tenant has moved into the Innov8 Hub this week! MindCoral Inc. has set up shop and joins the list of tech companies at VITP who focus on the Digital Media world.

The goal at MindCoral is to offer an online platform for direct academic assistance that gives students and learners personalized one-on-one help that enables them to excel in their studies. MindCoral is a global educational hub where students, learners, and academic professionals are given the resources and tools needed to interact, creating an online homework help community. They offer a wide array of educational resources including personalized help and an online library center, covering an extensive range of academic subjects and topics. In keeping with our goal of offering high quality help to our website visitors, we ensure that our academic professionals are highly qualified, experienced, and possess a minimum of a graduated degree before they are approved to offer assistance to students.

They have focused their mission and vision on creating a platform for students and academic professionals that is easy to use, promotes learning, and enhances productivity.

A new website and Facebook page will soon be launched, but for now visit them on the web here.  Welcome to VITP MindCoral, we are excited to have you on board!

Hard Drive Cafe’s Christmas Hours!

Hard Drive Café Holiday Season hours of operations:

Tuesday, Christmas Eve December 24th 7:30 to 3:00

Wednesday, December 25th Closed!

Thursday, December 26th Closed!

Friday December 27th Closed!

Monday, December 30th 8:30 – 2:00

Tuesday, December 31st 8:30 – 2:00

Wednesday, New Year’s Day January 1st Closed!

Thursday, January 2nd 8:00 to 3:00

Friday January 3rd 8:00 – 3:00

Monday, January 6th Back to our regular hours 7:30 – 4:00

From all of us @ the Hard Drive Café have a happy and safe Holiday Season!

Tech News: Five Stupid Things Startup Communities Have Convinced Us Are Actually True

Posted on Techvibes.com
View the original article here.
Written by Tracy Vides

Techvibes.com offers tons of great articles and detailed news from the local Technology industry, with a focus on start up companies. Here’s another interesting article that was posted yesterday.

Five Stupid Things Startup Communities Have Convinced Us Are Actually True

Startups have a tough job: work with almost nothing, start with no capital, have few people applying to work, a book full of to-dos to complete, milestones to achieve, and grow faster than a dinosaur used to.

So, startup communities sprout up overnight and almost everyone starts to pitch in. Ideas are exchanged, advice is freely given out, and there’s tons of encouragement that any startup founder can gain value from. Often, there’s also advice that’s not right. Periodically, articles and blog posts are published with information that’s often one-sided (that of the author and not of the entrepreneur reading it).

Because this information comes from people “who’ve been there and done that” or from credible sources such as popular business publications, the advice is deemed to be true and accurate. It’s just taken for granted.

Didn’t we learn that we are unique?

No one is like you and no one has the same problems you have. Combine that kind of advice with our own hopes, aspirations, fears, myths, and our actual circumstances and what once seemed difficult almost feels impossible.

Your startup is your baby. You founded it because of your own dreams, aspirations, and ambitions. You have reasons for your journey into entrepreneurship. Obviously, you also have constraints financially, geographically, emotionally, and circumstantially. Most advice is general. So what should you do? That’s easy to figure out. More important is what you shouldn’t do.

Here are some really stupid things startup communities will have you believe:

GROW FAST AND FAIL OFTEN

You can grow and fail. Do it as many times as your sanity allows you. You certainly don’t have to be too fast and fail too often. Note that the advice isn’t bad: if anything, it will bring you priceless experience and loads of maturity. You’d be more experienced than any average business school professor who has authored twenty textbooks.

Yet, growing too fast is to your own detriment, as the 37 Signals book Rework tells you. Think about it: growing too fast would mean that you’d stretch your resources unnecessarily. You’d spend too fast in the hopes of growing too fast. You’d scale up disproportional to your profits. You’d be reckless then, not enterprising.

It’s not surprising then that you’d fail fast too. Failure is an awesome teacher, but do it too fast and you’d not know why you are failing in the first place. Next time you get advice such as this one, ask: how soon should I grow and how often should I fail? If there is not etched in stone, can I determine my own pace for my startup?

Thank you very much.

AIM FOR VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDING

Every startup should launch, grow organically, and scale as much as they can given their state of incoming sales and assets available (human resources or other investments). Getting venture capitalist funding, however, is not something everyone should look for.

Whether you are looking for VC funding or not, you should know this: If you are an entrepreneur who started out on your own because you never wanted to be answerable to anyone but yourself, looking for VC funding defeats that very purpose. If you are funded, you are answerable, accountable, and responsible for profits. Not so much for you, but for those who funded you.

PUT IN EXTRA LONG HOURS

Sure, a startup would mean long hours and plenty of sacrifices. It doesn’t mean that you bleed to death. It never meant that you sacrifice your life for your startup.

A startup doesn’t have to be responsible for a pressure cooker that your office suddenly turns itself into. You don’t have to push people over the cliff to get things done.

Hello? Wasn’t there a thing called productivity? Why do you have to put in 16 hours a day when you can accomplish that in 8-10 hours?

Wasn’t your management style and effective leadership skills supposed to lead people to work better? Aren’t your own productivity lessons going to set an example for everyone else in your company to follow?

This stress taken on by founders to push, perform like a superhero instead of a startup founder, and drive people crazy feeds off on the thing we talked about earlier—the need for scaling, the hunger to grow quick, the mad pursuit of venture capital, which is often a result of rapid growth and potential.

That’s how one bad advice grows off another.

Take your time to run your startup. Make way for your life.

TECH STARTUPS ARE HOTTEST

A startup is any company that runs on meager resources, with little or no capital investment, and grows organically. At least, we define it that way.

But who said it has to be a tech startup? If you can roll off a company that deals with alternative energy, cement, constructions, oil, real estate, or possibly any other industry, do so.

Case in point: Richard Kershaw is an affiliate marketer turned super entrepreneur who diversified from his already well-known and well-used tech startup WhoIsHostingThis.com, and came up with a unique a zombie slaying experience over at Wish.co.uk. No connection? That’s the connection! Do whatever you’re sure about—that’s what Warren Buffet repeatedly advises (and does).

A hot startup is one with potential. You’ll be “hot” when you show the world that your startup has promise. If there’s enough proof that your startup could bootstrap but still grow; make money but not spend too much; attract some formidable talent despite all odds; could be funded but chooses not to – you are steaming!

That’s all that matters.

LAUNCH YOUR STARTUP IN SILICON VALLEY

Thank God Silicon Valley isn’t on the moon. You could be in China, Argentina, Nigeria, or Singapore and still start a business. Even if you were in Botswana or Chile, you could still do business focusing on the US market.

It’s true that there’s an ecosystem of startups in the Silicon Valley. It’s also true that it’s one of the best places to start and run a business. That high tide isn’t that high anymore. According to Simon Black who goes by the name Sovereign Man, the US is hardly a place to live, let alone build a business.

Thanks to the Internet, available technology, and presence of skilled manpower anywhere in the world—why should you limit yourself to a specific geographic locale?

Think about it.

What’s some of the advice on startups you’ve heard that you don’t really agree with? Let us know in the comments…

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